Wednesday, February 27, 2013

All on the Table

Well, in my first post I said that we were planning to refinish a table for use in our dining room.  We finished it in November, but things have been a little hectic.  I started out with a table that my mother gave me.  She had been storing it for over a year in her barn and was thrilled for it to be out of her way.  The table was extremely dusty to begin with (her barn is a working barn) and so I cleaned to before even loading it into my van.  It looked really rough and my plan was to sand of the rough spots where the current finish was peeling and flaking off.
Definitely in rough shape!

I was planning to paint the entire table a creamy off white with just a hint of yellow or pink and paint an oval of flowers and vines in the middle.  Of course my husbands reaction was somewhat adamantly against any paint on the "beautiful wood."  Of course what I was seeing was the black stains in one end of the table and an assortment of dings and blemishes.  So as a good couple should we compromised.  I said that if he could get the black stains sanded out then we could just stain the top, but paint the sides and legs of the table.  As usual,  Murphy has become a resident at my house so I don't have any pictures of this process, because my camera broke at about the same time.  My in laws were coming for Thanksgiving, so we were on a kind of deadline.  If we didn't finish the table we would not have enough room to seat everyone at the table for dinner.  We managed to get it all sanded off.  So to start with I put three coats of paint on the side moulding and the legs.  After the paint was dry, I painted a design on the  wide part of the legs. (not visible in these pics above). 
Yes I based this design on Donna Dewberry's style, but the design itself
is mine.

At the same time, I bought a bench on my way to a ladies retreat in Murfreesboro.  I decided to paint it to match.  I painted the same pattern on the flat panel directly under the seat.

This bench originally had a black base but I wanted it to match.
So, after painting the design, I wanted to get several coats of clear poly on to protect all my hard work from my three kids.  Of course by this time it was the middle of November and even in Tennessee it gets cold enough at night that you cannot just paint anytime of day without making adjustments for temperature.  So we put a oil heater in the shed and would turn it on for a couple of hours until the poly was dry.  It did get interesting because we got frost several nights when I was scrambling to get coats onto the table.
No leaves!  They are 18 inches wide each, and we have two.

Altogether I was very pleased with the end result.  We finished the table the week before Thanksgiving and got it set up in the house.  Of course, we cannot leave the table set up with the leaves in the middle, but it was big enough to fit all twelve people around for dinner and we had room for all of the food on the table as well. 
This has both of the leaves set for a full thanksgiving dinner.

The finished product!  Of course now I need to either buy or make some tablecloths that are big enough for the whole table with the leaves.  (We discovered at Thanksgiving that a tablecloth length of 102 barely reaches the ends of the table.)  Then all I have to do is paint all of my orphaned chairs to match, which I plan to wait for warmer weather so I don't have to worry about paint fumes in our small shed.  ;)

So all's well that ends well.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Multiplicity of Ideas

Well, as usual, I have too many ideas an either no time or no energy to do anything about them.  I have an idea for making homemade soap for my family, (we are trying to be more healthy and more financially aware.)   Also I had this wonderful idea to make hair bows from naturally hand dyed ribbon.  Needless to say both of these ideas require a lot of extra research, which of course takes time.  Fortunately, I have discovered that down time physically works well for research, so the Lord makes it work out one way or the other.  Since I have had a fair amount of down time due to some health issues, I have made a lot of progress on that score. 

I have seen some really cool colors made from things you totally would not expect and I am really looking forward to trying them out.  I am also wondering if some of the natural dyes will work for soap as well.  My research has been rather lacking in information on this.  Some of the writers say that the process of lye soap making will destroy the natural colorants or fade them significantly.  I will of course report on my findings. 

On the dyeing front, I have been making white crocheted roses which I will try to dye a soft pink using, believe it or not, avocado skins.  These will be attached to clips with a button in the middle like so. 

 I am also planning to do some wide satin ribbbon bows as well.

When it comes to making soap I am planning to start with shaving soap, do half with a masculine scent and the other half with a more feminine scent.  My next project will be to move on to a basic moisturizing soap.  However this project will require waiting until I have some money for equipment and some of the more hard to find oils. 

As usual money is a factor and so these projects are not on the front burner at the moment.  I guess the timing isn't quite right for these yet.  Of course, being in the middle of the year homeschooling could definitely be a factor as far as timing goes.  ;)   So maybe these projects will have to wait for the summer vacation, but this would not be the end of the world.  As usual have a very blessed day and hang on to your dreams.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Life in the Fast Lane

Well, I haven't as yet gotten around to refinishing my new table.  Life in the fast lane doesn't allow detours sometimes. However I have had the opportuntity to attend a ladies retreat and will have a craft table to sell my work there, so I have spent the past week increasing and diversifying my stock.  As usual I have some doubt about how well some things will sell.  I also needed to make a greater quantity to sell in my shop. 

So.... I spent about a week working on making hairbows and painting the insides of my ornaments.  The ornaments definitely get interesting.  Try to imagine painting with a tiny paintbrush on the inside of a glass ornament with a three year old running around. It is definitely not for the faint of heart I can tell you.  I had quite a few people ask me how I manged to paint the inside the ornaments.  It is interesting.  I had to bend the ferules of my paintbrushes to get to the top of the painted area.  Of course you have to use small paintbrushes so you don't get paint on the top of the ornament.  It is also a reciepe for practicing patience, not something that I do easily. 

I love to create, my preference is for it to be something that will be used and/or enjoyed everyday.  I also hate to feel figitty, and do if I don't have something to do with my hands, so I frequently have some crocheting with me.  I make hats and flower hairbows on the go. 

So for those of you that are following me, I appreciate the confidence and support.  I have a great deal of respect for others who have been in business for themselves longer than me, and I appreciate the input that has been offered to me.  The people that I have met in this field of endevor have all been amazingly helpful.  I didn't manage to make any sales, but I did manage to make some contacts.  I am trusting that this will be a time of growth and improvement.  I am also very grateful for the patience and support of my family and friends. 

Ok, so I really have been in the fast or nonexistant lane for a while now.  I thought that I hade posted this about 2 months ago.  So finally here it is.  I really am going to try to post more regularly, we'll see how it goes.  Thnaks for your patience.